Voices of America series 1: the immigrant

The Scotsman, October 31 1988

It is twenty one years since the night when a middle-aged Chinese man slipped quietly off his merchant ship in the sprawling harbour of New Haven, Connecticut and padded away into the darkness to become an outlaw.

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The murder of stowaways

The Guardian, October 23 1993

Kingsley Ofosu lived in Ghana, in a town called Takoradi which is built around a natural harbour on the edge of the Gulf of Guinea. His mother worked in the street market, selling tomatoes, and his father scratched a living in a mining town called Tarkwa 50 miles inland. He had two brothers who shared a bed with him and a third who slept on a mat on the floor. His family called him by a pet name,...

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Trial of the crew who murdered stowaways

The Guardian, December 11 1995

The chief officer said it all. After the French police had questioned him, when finally they had persuaded him to admit to eight wretched, bloody murders - to admit that he had been there personally with his pistol in his hand while the Africans were shot to death - the Ukrainian sailor cocked his chin at the cops and told them that he had done nothing wrong really. He said: “Europe will thank...

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Life On the Poverty Line 1- migrants

The Guardian, October 19 2005

Ryzard studied banking and finance in Warsaw. He has ended up in a bank in London - sleeping in its doorway. He speaks English, he has a gentle obsession with chess and the solution of chess problems. He came to London to work, to earn enough to finish his studies. He has ended up virtually destitute.

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Pity the poor immigrant

The Guardian, December 3 2007

"I don't want my son to live the same life I have led. I don't want my family to suffer. We are all in the same world. Some people are suffering and some people are enjoying and I don't know the reason why."

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Murder is easy (if you kill the right people)

The Guardian, June 7 2008

When finally they caught him, it was a fluke. He had parked his lorry outside a football stadium in a small town in north-eastern Spain and he was waiting for dark to throw away the body of his latest victim. By sheer chance, a technician was installing a CCTV camera on the wall of a neighbouring factory and, while he was adjusting it to focus on the factory gate, the technician accidentally...

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How Europe created a theatre of cruelty to deter migrants

The Guardian, April 18 2010

"British jobs for British workers." It's an easy thing to say. Gordon Brown came out with it in June 2007, just before he became Prime Minister. Since then, the easy words have been picked up and recycled by pundits and pickets and politicians from the British National Party on the right through to the biggest trade union in the country, Unite, on the left. The reality, however, is a little more...

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